eBay continues to make changes that impact users outside of the two major seller updates announced already this year, and unfortunately it's leaving users in the dark. eBay finally addressed some of these changes in a blog post published by Bob Kupbens, head of Seller Experience (pictured), on Tuesday.
While acknowledging sellers need time to adapt to impactful changes, Kupbens provided a reason for making changes outside of the Spring and Summer Seller Updates: "continuous innovation."
While that may explain the "small-scale tests" eBay undertakes to "evaluate new platform capabilities," it doesn't explain why eBay didn't tell sellers about the changes once they had grown into larger-scale tests or permanent policies:
"As your partner at eBay, we aim to consolidate impactful changes that may require action on your part into seasonal seller updates so you have time to adapt - our spring and summer updates are examples.
"At the same time, we are a company of continuous innovation, and we regularly evaluate new platform capabilities. These typically start with small-scale tests, and when we see positive results that benefit buyers and sellers, we want to bring these new features to the broader ecosystem right away."
The lack of communication extends to eBay's own customer service reps. That makes things confusing for sellers (and in some cases, buyers) when they encounter a test or change in policy and contact the company for clarification, but are unable to receive clear answers.
Kupbens' post comes 3 days after we blogged about the most recent concern we heard from eBay users: Immediate Payment Required is no longer optional if listings meet certain conditions - it had always been an optional requirement. (Kupbens said it was a test eBay was running.)
The EcommerceBytes blog post, titled "eBay Furtively Changes Payments Policy
," may have conveyed to eBay management the way such changes come across to sellers. Having to adjust to a major change to payments policy is difficult enough, but deducing it after hearing reports from buyers rather than hearing it from eBay itself is frustrating - and that's just one example.
Sellers who want more information about changes taking place on eBay should read the post
. For example, Kupbens addressed the change to Best Offer, which we recently blogged about
, and he updated sellers about Promoted Listing Ads and Product Reviews.
There were several issues Kupbens did not address that were described in the following EcommerceBytes Blog posts:
"eBay Hides Item Descriptions from Shoppers" (link to blog post
) - Shoppers viewing a listing must now often click on a link in order to read the seller's description.
"eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown" (link to blog post
) - Sellers are dealing with the fallout from a crackdown on messages sent through the eBay messaging system.
Kubpens did allude to the latter crackdown: "Also starting this month for the small group of sellers who repeatedly violate important eBay policies like completing transactions outside of eBay checkout, their active listings will be suppressed from search and browse results in line with selling restrictions." But he provided no answers to the questions raised by sellers who say they are being warned or even suspended without cause.
Be sure to pay close attention to the other parts of his post under the section, "We've also taken a few steps recently to benefit the marketplace," and let us know what you think.